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200″ Ohio Monster Non-Typical

December 5, 2012 by  
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Here’s a great story about our hunting heritage and one man’s hunt for a true monster buck that reportedly grossed well over the magical 200″ mark as a non-typical. That’s a big giant whitetail no matter where you call home. Congrats Joe!

My 100-Year Deer Story!

My family has owned a small property in Highland County Ohio for over 100 years. My great grand father, on my Mothers side, would ride his horse from Urbana, Ohio in the late 1800’s to his favorite location in south central Ohio to hunt and fish.  After years of doing that he purchased a small lot and camped there till around 1908. Then he and his brother built a hunting cabin on tree stumps.

He visited this camp till his death in the late 1960’s. I know I get my love of the outdoors from him and others in my family.  I barely remember him. When I was a small boy we spent many weekends and summer vacations at this camp.  Thus began my fishing, hunting and shooting lifestyle. This property was passed down thru our family until the day my parents deeded it to my 2 brothers and me.

As years went on and my brothers and I got married, the old camp was wearing out.  With the help of our new wives, begging for running water and modern appliances, around 1994 we took the old camp down and built a new log cabin! Now the next generation had arrived. My Bass fishing career slowed with a new family and deer hunting was taking its place.  When a local family approached me about buying some land we had been hunting, next to the cabin, I could not pass it up.

On one trip before I purchased the land, a friend had shot a nice 8 pointer.  We had wanted to sit all day on stand but we decided to spend one hour and help him track the deer.  He went into a thicket and we did not recover him.  I headed back to my stand and while climbing back up I jumped an absolute monster buck that had bedded down 10 feet from my stand.   After that encounter, buying the land was not given a second thought.

After 6-7 years of planting food plots, putting out minerals, hanging tree stands, watching deer movement with cameras, dealing with locals sitting in my tree stands, and passing on some really decent bucks, I knew one day would come when I had my chance at a 200 class deer.  I had spent many hours and days on various stands talking to my dearly departed Mom and Great Grandpa asking them to “Send me the Big Boy!” and I knew one day they would.

On November 9, 2012, they listened and sent him my way!  My friend and long time fishing and hunting partner, Don and I where to spend 12 hours on stand during the rut. The day started out about 28 degrees and warmed to about 68 degrees by noon. It was slow that morning. I had seen some good bucks earlier this season and on trail camera and already had a doe in the freezer, so waiting for “THE ONE” was my plan.

As the day warmed and lunch time approached, I had not seen a deer yet.  I needed to eat and shed some clothes as I was beginning to sweat from the heat.  I had sat for 6 hours, bow ready in my lap so not to be taken by surprise and feared the 5 minutes to eat may cost me an opportunity.  I quickly ate my lunch, used my portable bathroom, (empty C’mer deer jug!) and shed my outer layers to stop sweating.  I hit my rattling antlers hard and sat back down. Bow back in my lap.

3-4 minutes later, to my left; as I had hoped, with the wind in my favor, a mature buck was coming up the ravine, right to my shooting lane.  I had placed C’mere Deer on the old logging trial that was tore up with rubs and scraps.  That and my drag rag was placed in hopes of keeping a deer’s head down and not looking in my direction. IT WORKED.!

He stepped on the trial at less than 20 yards and put his head down. He moved to a quartering away shot and I pulled my Mathews bow and placed an arrow directly behind his shoulder!  He went down on the trail hard! He kicked and grunted and spun in circles.  At this time, I had not really studied his rack and only wanted to make the shot count.  The shot was where it needed to be. He was down!

He got back to his feet, made a few steps back the way he came and went down again. This repeated until he fell over the ravine he came up crashing and making grunting and howling sounds I have never heard in my life from a deer.  Then total silence. I figured he died at the bottom near the creek!

Don had been texting me and I felt each text vibrating in my pocket, as this all unfolded.  He had seen him before me and was so excited at what he saw he was trying to describe the deer to me.  Well, I now knew what he saw!  I texted him to bring the ATV around and we needed to find this deer!  When he arrived at the trail, I explained the shot and we both saw the blood drenched trail.  I felt he was 30 yards down the ravine and we went down to recover him!

He was not there.  We backed up and got on his blood trail. We spent about 2 hours on the trial and pulled out. The blood was getting VERY thin.  Then it stopped.  Don walked the creek he was following and found nothing.  I was getting very depressed that MY DEER may some how be out there and we would not find him.  I was 100% confident in the shot, no doubt about it.

We had about 1 hour of light left and I decided to walk the old logging trial.  I went zig zagging on the trial for about ½ mile.  I was ready to stop, head back down to Don and give up till the next day.  I turned right off the main trail, about ½ mile from where I hit him and there he was! My first thought was, “This is too big to be the deer I shot??” I checked my shot placement and it was him!

The arrow went in about 6-8 inches and when he was on the ground it broke off.  His hide then covered the hole and remaining arrow shaft he had in him and he bled out internally. My level of excitement could not be explained.  My phone was blowing up with calls and text from my other hunting buddies back home. They knew I shot a good deer and now found him! It was my deer of a lifetime!

I decided to write this and start my story 100 years ago.  It really is when it all began.  If not for my great grand father and the generations of family passing on this hunting tradition and lifestyle, I would not have been there that day.  So many things came in line that day. So much time and fun with family and friends working on this, I was not only lucky, I was blessed and my mother had decided it was time to send me the BIG BOY! Thanks Mom!

Joe Godar

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